Editorial: Why You Should Back the Cerulean Moment

I believe that the Whartonbrooks Cerulean Mobile Moment is a Windows 10 Mobile device for Windows Phone fans. Dare I say it, for WinPhans? Wait. Do I need to tread lightly with the fandom term, WinPhan? No. I don’t. There are numerous strong examples of how like-minded people join together to cheer for their underdog organization. Chicago Cubs, anyone? It is okay to be a fan of something that may not rationally make sense, or a fan of something that may appear to have a poor chance of succeeding.

I am making the case for you to plunk down your hard-earned US, Canadian, or Brazilian cash for this rehashed Android with mid-range 2016 specs, “peddled” by a small-time CEO with less camera charisma than is ideal. Here’s why:

The Cerulean Moment, by WhartonBrooks, is not the spec monster that fans of Windows Phone/phone/Mobile are dreaming of. It is somewhat similar to what many WinPhans are using, though. Having been an involved user of Windows Phone devices since the fall of 2010 (and Windows Mobile before that), I’ve learned exceedingly more about the devices and the operating system than I needed to. Even with that overabundance of knowledge and experience, when it comes down to it, I tend to use my device quite similarly to the way that my wife does.

My wife wants an experience that is fluid, that doesn’t get in her way, and that helps her easily connect with the people most important in her life. This could mean having an enjoyable SMS experience, to knowing that pictures of children captured with the phone will be good enough to send to the grandparents. It could mean having all-day battery life, to having shared shopping lists sync up seamlessly. Obviously, these experiences are not exclusive to Microsoft’s mobile operating system, but my wife is a fan of Windows Phone (and Microsoft by extension) because of it.

Disruptive

Last year, WhartonBrooks announced their plans to bring a mobile device to market that Windows Phone fans would want. In doing so, they used terms like “ground-breaking”, “disruptive”, and “radical”. Personally, I would not have chosen to use those words. It certainly garnered them some attention though, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. Now that we know the planned specifications of the Cerulean Moment, it is obvious that this is a mid-range, albeit seemingly-capable, moderately-priced Windows 10 Mobile device. I won’t dwell on the specs, but it should be fairly obvious why the cost is as low as it is. If not disruptive in the way originally imagined, it is still certainly unique.

“Is the Snapdragon 617 is good enough?” Well for starters, Microsoft thinks so. That thought may not necessarily alieve your concerns, but the S617 is already being used in several (by my count, 7) Windows 10 Mobile devices. Granted, devices such as the NuAns Neo did not make it to the market, but the chipset has proven to be adequate for what it is being asked to do. Aside from my hesitation regarding the microUSB port instead of choosing type-C, I believe that the other major specs are acceptable to support a snappy Windows 10 Mobile experience.

It is very easy for us as enthusiasts to be drawn to the newest and best hardware. However, putting the latest SoC in their very first device offering is not feasible for a small company like WhartonBrooks. Besides, Cerulean Mobile is starting from scratch, but their first device cannot. They need to go through an ODM for this. It would be financial suicide not to be realistic about how much they can accomplish with their first device. Also, remember the Lumia 520? It was clearly one of the “weakest” WP devices of its era, but it outsold every other Windows Phone device several times over. This was because people got great value from it. Not top-end specs. I think targeting what we think of as “mid-range” is a wise, and almost obvious choice for Cerulean Mobile.

The WinPhan CEO

The founder and CEO of WhartonBrooks / Cerulean Mobile is Greg Murphy. A self-described “huge Windows Phone fan”, it is apparent that he is almost single-handedly running nearly every aspect of this massive project. While there’s no doubt that his goals are lofty (and possibly unachievable), he has earned an incredible amount of my respect by being so willing to take on such a daunting challenge.

“Why should I spend $300 on this device?” Let me ask you a different question: Why go to an American Football game when you can just watch from your couch? Why take time off from work to stand and wave a protest sign, when you can just send in an absentee ballot ahead of time? Why go through the effort of hand-washing your classic car when you can just run it through the automated car wash? Why have passion for anything if your goal is just to reach the end of life as efficiently as possible?

I’m not denying the possibility of there being better available purchase choices other than the Cerulean Moment. (Personally, I think the price for what is offered is quite fair.) While I feel that the Cerulean Moment has the capability to supply users with a productive and enjoyable experience, it may not be for you. But, if you are a fan of Windows Phone, which has always been the underdog, why would you not want to fully support this new and enthusiastic underdog?

If you are reading this, there is a high chance that you are a fan of the platform. Being a fan of something has no obligations. A fan can share their support and enthusiasm, without the commitment of being loyal to a company. Fans have the choice to contribute towards something, whether it be with encouragement, evangelism, or by purchasing the product or service the company provides.

If you are Windows Phone/Mobile enthusiast, and especially if you identify as a WinPhan, you are passing up a great opportunity if you do not pre-ordering the Cerulean Moment. The mere fact that WhartonBrooks is a small underdog fan of Windows Phone, making a Windows Phone, should be exciting you. Here are the last four reasons why you should become a backer for this Indiegogo campaign:

  • Many Windows Phone fans are due for a new device they can be excited about. Anecdotally, I know of many fans that are still using devices that do not support Continuum. The Moment is an inexpensive way to use that feature.
  • It is unique. The chances of a “civilian” you know recognizing this device is slim to none. Some see that as a drawback. I (and many WinPhans) see it as a definite benefit. Personally, I would rather stand out instead of blend in.
  • The Moment may be the only phone from Cerulean. Say for example there are less than 5000 people that purchase this device this year. Two likely options may happen: Consumers prove that there is not enough interest, and nothing further happens. Or, interest is strong, and WhartonBrooks moves directly to building the next generation of Cerulean Mobile devices. Either way, the Moment will be incredibly rare. I believe that many people who love Windows Phone, also prefer to be in the minority, including owning something rather rare. (I am quite proud of my KIN ONEm and KIN TWOm.)
  • Lastly, the croudfunding campaign may fail. In this case, the campaign has a fixed goal. WhartonBrooks receives the backed funds only if they reach the tally of $1.1 million. If you somehow endured the torture of setting aside $300 (or less) for the device, and the campaign flops, by the middle of May you will have that money available again to go spend on whatever else you think fits your needs better than this.

This device is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of Windows Phone/Mobile, the Cerulean Moment is for you. Back it on Indigogo here. I did.

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